Songs of Deliverance
If you watch old black-and-white Robin Hood or King Arthur movies, you will see queens who ride through battlefields on horseback. They don’t go alone on their journeys, but mounted soldiers ride all around them, surrounding them with protection.
On difficult days, we can remind ourselves that God “will command his angels concerning [us] to guard [us] in all [our] ways” (Psalm 91:11), and that He has surrounded us with a band of others who are following Christ’s banner—namely, our church. The Christian life is meant to be a corporate journey, not an individualistic one. We have the benefit of rallying together for the cause of Christ. We are to surround ourselves with those who provide “shouts [or “songs,” NIV] of deliverance.” When we worship together, we experience the benefits of the deliverance that God provides for us.
When we are disoriented by life or acutely aware of our flaws, failings, discouragements, and doubts, the antidote is not to try to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. Instead, we can look at the wonders of what Jesus has done and make sure we are hearing from brothers and sisters in Christ what Jesus has done. With the help of a simple hymnbook alongside God’s word, we can encourage one another through the darkest of days by filling our minds with truth through song and Scripture.
Alec Motyer once wrote, “When truth gets into a creed or hymn-book, it becomes the confident possession of the whole church.” With words deeply rooted in theology, we can daily tell ourselves, “He is all I need to get through.” Then, in the company of God’s people, we can worship together, asking our Lord for grace and peace. A living church will always be a singing church.
You are not meant to worship on an island. This is part of what corporate worship is about: to be surrounded by songs of deliverance. You are wired by your Creator to stand in the assembly of those who affirm to you, as you affirm to them, memorable words like these:
Sing, O sing of my Redeemer!
With His blood He purchased me;
On the cross He sealed my pardon,
Paid the debt, and made me free.
He Heals the Brokenhearted
1Praise the Lord!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant,1 and a song of praise is fitting.
2The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
3He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
4He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
5Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
6The Lord lifts up the humble;2
he casts the wicked to the ground.
7Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre!
8He covers the heavens with clouds;
he prepares rain for the earth;
he makes grass grow on the hills.
9He gives to the beasts their food,
and to the young ravens that cry.
10His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
11but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.
12Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!
13For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
he blesses your children within you.
14He makes peace in your borders;
he fills you with the finest of the wheat.
15He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
16He gives snow like wool;
he scatters frost like ashes.
17He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;
who can stand before his cold?
18He sends out his word, and melts them;
he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
19He declares his word to Jacob,
his statutes and rules3 to Israel.
20He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
they do not know his rules.4
Praise the Lord!
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